The agitations held at Azad Maidan for the enactment of the revised Lokpal Bill were not just typical protests by a group of activists.
Fed up hearing and reading about scams, the net-savvy generation of Mumbai joined the protests and demanded that politicians running the government be held accountable for the ever-increasing cases of corruption.
A month ago, a few hundreds college students and professionals met online or through social networking sites and joined hands to organise protests across the city.
They are sending out mass messages, using social networking sites such as Facebook and Youtube to create public awareness about the bill.
The core team of the youths organised Dandi March 2 in Bandra last month and also helped in coordinating Tuesday’s hunger strike.
“There are 20,000 members from Mumbai on our website (www.indiaagainstcorruption.org) out of which 2,000 are very active. Nearly 95% of the members are youngsters,” said Ruben Mascarenhas, who also leads the protest on Facebook. “We conduct various activities to motivate more youngsters to join the cause. We do street plays, dramas and much more.”
Aditya Paul, a 24-year-old freelance content writer, said they had put up the videos of the Dandi March and agitation in Mumbai on Youtube to ensure that more people could have access to it.
According to Paul, they were able to bring a large number of people together in a short span of time since they had a specific reason. “In the past, we didn’t have a specific reason to fight. Now , we know what we are asking for. We are demanding the enactment of the Jan Lokpal Bill, which will benefit in controlling over 90% of corruption in the city,” he said.
“Our Facebook page, India Against Corruption Mumbai, is a common platform for all of us for brainstorming,” said Priyadarshini Ohol, an Internet production manager from Thane. “I took a day off from work on Tuesday to support the cause for which Anna Hazare is fighting.”
The young protesters also used text messages as a medium to involve others in their agitation. “We sent out more than one crore SMSes informing people about the Jan Lokpal Bill,” said Khushivi Gandhi, a political science graduate from Vile Parle.
The activities are funded through donations from citizens.